Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Last weekend, I had quite an adventure, I knew I was in for something but I had no actual idea what would happen to me. Last weekend, I went to Cebu and it was my first time. Cebu, lovely readers is one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines. We have over 7000 islands, and Cebu is one of the metropolitan islands in the country. It's a shame that I only stayed in the city and didn't get to go to the beaches, but there will be another time for that, definitely. Last weekend in Cebu was their great Sinuog Festival to celebrate the Sto. Nino, which is the image of the baby Jesus that made itself a staple image in the Filipino home by way of Cebu. Now how do you celebrate in Cebu? By parading the streets, not to mention partying in them.

I won't go into detail but I will tell you it was a sinful weekend. If you ever go to Cebu, it is a crime to leave without tasting their lechon, and I just really enjoyed my stay. To salvage myself, I decided to make a bit of a healthy but still yummy snack - granola bars!


I have loved granola bars since I was younger, I would always get a box of the chocolate chip Quaker ones in the supermarket. This recipe, I fooled around with different recipes I found on the net and it's pretty quick to make.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, agave and the brown sugar until all is dissolved and incorporated to each other.

Combine the oats and the flaxseed.


Add the butter mixture to the oats and mix until it comes together nicely. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Butter a 9x9 baking dish and place parchment paper that extends to the sides. That way, when the granola bars are cooked, you can easily lift the parchment paper out. Butter the parchment paper and place the oats, making sure they are well spread and even. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. If you want the bars a little crunchier, leave them in the oven for 5 more minutes.


Let it cool for 20 minutes, and when they're cool enough, cut them into bars or squares, however you desire.

Munch on them to your heart's desire while feeling guilt-free because it is a healthy snack. Walnuts are good for the heart as much as the oats are and well, chocolate makes us all feel good so that's a sure plus. Honestly speaking, if I were to tweak this recipe, I would eliminate the brown sugar if you're using agave like I did. Agave is 25% sweeter than regular sugar, so my granola bars ended up being really sweet, which I think could use less next time.

Just my opinion though. Feel free to mix this up with a quarter cup of peanut butter or replacing part of the oats for puffed rice. I'm pretty sure I'll be experimenting on my granola bars too.

Always,
Isobel

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